CSUN music majors break into the industry

Jordan+Leicht%2C+a+freshman+jazz+major+practices+on+his+own+for+about+two+and+a+half+hours+a+day%2C+not+including+rehearsals.+He+has+his+own+combo+band+and+participates+in+a+big+jazz+band+as+well.+Photo+Credit%3A+Vince+Nguyen%2F+The+Sundial
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CSUN music majors break into the industry

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major practices on his own for about two and a half hours a day, not including rehearsals. He has his own combo band and participates in a big jazz band as well. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major practices on his own for about two and a half hours a day, not including rehearsals. He has his own combo band and participates in a big jazz band as well. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major practices on his own for about two and a half hours a day, not including rehearsals. He has his own combo band and participates in a big jazz band as well. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major practices on his own for about two and a half hours a day, not including rehearsals. He has his own combo band and participates in a big jazz band as well. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

Macie Bennett

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Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major practices on his own for about two and a half hours a day, not including rehearsals. He has his own combo band and participates in a big jazz band as well. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major practices on his own for about two and a half hours a day, not including rehearsals. He has his own combo band and participates in a big jazz band as well. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

CSUN music majors are more than just high school band teachers and rock band guitarists. They are successful musicians, engineers, performers and producers.

Records by well-known artists line the walls of Cypress Hall illustrating the success of the department over the years. With an experienced faculty and a wide range of music programs, students are offered plenty of opportunities to break into the music industry.

“Music has been the one thing that has held a strong place in my heart since I was young,” said Danielle Keegan, senior MIS major. “I have had a passion for singing since I first sang in front of a crowd when I was seven but I fell in love with the music industry when I interned with an independent record label in high school.”

While Keegan continues to move forward with her passion, Michelangelo Corrente a senior MIS major is currently working on a personal project with his indie rock band as a vocalist, “My dream job is to run a management agency and I am already managing a couple artists,” said Corrente.

Residing in Los Angeles these students have greater opportunities since they are in the hub of the music industry. They work constantly with faculty, advisors and other students to achieve their dreams. Music department professors help them with music theory, history, musicianship and performance, business aspects and music technology so they are able to continue pursuing their goals.

Keegan explains her professors help her establish relationships with potential co-workers, perfect her voice and make sure she gets the help she needs to be exceptional in the highly-competitive music field.

“When I came into the MIS department I could barely read music but with the help of my professors I got set up with tutors for my classes and received the help I needed,” said Keegan.

While Keegan hopes to land a job with a record label or radio affiliate and help push artists’ music into the public, other students are busy creating their own music and projects.

The music majors of CSUN show true effort, creativity, passion and potential to thrive in the music industry. One emerging talent is freshman Michael Gutierrez, the recipient of CSUN’s first Ella Fitzgerald Memorial Scholar in Jazz studies. Although not all students receive the accolades they deserve for their accomplishments, they remain persistent in their quest to find success.
“Music has been my life and it is what I see myself having a career in,” adds Keegan.

Carey Christensen, Mike Curb chair in MIS sees many students struggle with different types of issues especially networking and social skills.

Christensen attributes the difficulties within the industry to demand and constant competition. The best advice he offers to his students is, “Never lose your passion for music…With so much competition and rejection in this industry, it is easy to become jaded,” he said.

“Also, remember the old industry adage, ‘It’s who you know that helps you get your job, but what you know that helps you keep it,’ You need to work on both aspects in order to enjoy a long-term career in this industry.”

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major at CSUN, has been playing music since he was in second grade and in fourth grade started playing the saxophone. “I picked the saxophone because it looked really cool with all the keys and everything and I haven’t stopped since,” said Leicht. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial

Jordan Leicht, a freshman jazz major at CSUN, has been playing music since he was in second grade and in fourth grade started playing the saxophone. “I picked the saxophone because it looked really cool with all the keys and everything and I haven’t stopped since,” said Leicht. Photo Credit: Vince Nguyen/ The Sundial